I woke up in a dark room with red lights. The floor was covered in wood chips and straw, and a trickle of water ran in the back.
I stumbled around. My motor control wasn’t quite right, and it felt hard just to stay awake.
People in hazmat suits entered through a door. In my mind, disturbed by whatever drug I was on, I thought I mighta caught Ebola or California Measels or polio. It wasn’t ’til later I learned they wore the suits to keep my environment clean, not keep themselves safe.
A man, Dr. Smith as I later found out, flashed a light in my eyes. He examined the pupils while he hummed, then put the light in a pocket. “The drugs are wearing off.” He giggled like a schoolgirl and clapped his hands. “Oh my goodness – a real, female specimen! I’ve not been this excited since my last child was born. She’s such a beautiful specimen. Look at the size on her! Almost twice the bulk of a male.”
He ran a hand down my abdomen, which I noticed was completely naked. I pushed his hands away and tried to tell him off, but my words slurred around my tongue, and my body slid in the mulch.
“Careful,” Dr. Smith told the aides in the room, “She might not be as well trained as our males. But what a beauty. If she’s half as powerful as Dr. Whitehead promised, she’ll make everything we’ve worked with before now seem like cannon fodder.”
He walked around me, examining me like my dad might look over a new bicycle. “Powerful legs. She could probably rip a man in two. We’ll need to test her strength and combat capabilities when the drugs have worn off. For now, get 718 in here. We need to start the breeding process.”
“You think it’s a good idea to bring 718 in right now?” an aide, a woman, asked. “She might not be receptive to him.”
“Oh, it’ll be perfectly fine. The sooner we get this process started, the sooner we get a new generation to raise. Bring him in.”
The door opened again, this time allowing in a couple aides pushing cage. Inside the cage was the biggest spider I’d ever seen. When it noticed me, it raised up on its legs and squealed. It shook the bars of its cage, bending them slightly.
Dr. Smith waved to his aides. “Come on, folks! I can feel it coming in the air tonight!” He slapped his legs, ordered his aides out, then pulled a pin that held the cage door closed.
Just after he exited, the door flew open and the male chimera leapt after me. It tried to get behind me, to my reproductive organs, but I turned and wouldn’t let it.
I still couldn’t talk well. Poison and drool dripped from my mouth and burned through some of the wood chips on the floor. I tried to scream for help, but all I got out was some stupid yelping and whining.
The male tried to trip me, so I pushed him away. I’m strong, very strong, so it wasn’t hard to send him flying. He was built out of the same stuff I am, though, so he wasn’t damaged. He seemed invigorated, actually, and came back after me.
I bit at him. He bit back, but our carapaces were too hard for each other to penetrate.
With my motor control reduced, the male turned me over. He mounted me, then started rubbing himself with his pedipalps.
I got desperate. With my front claws, I took his head, then pushed against his abdomen with my back legs.
He stopped paying attention to himself as it started to hurt more. He screamed, but I didn’t stop. I was so scared, out of my wits, and I couldn’t control my own strength.
I couldn’t help it – it was so terrible! His head popped off his abdomen. Blood spewed everywhere. The legs continued to flail and scramble despite the creature’s death.
I dropped the head and screamed. What had I done?! I’d killed someone – this wasn’t the way it was supposed to be!
“Where am I!?” I tried to cry out. I didn’t say that well, didn’t say anything right, but I felt so alone. So broken.
Tears streamed down my eyes, and I huddled in a corner, as far away from the body I’d murdered.